FELIX BUHOT (French / 1847-1898)

Félix Hilaire Buhot was born in Valognes (Manche). He was a pupil of Lecocq de Boisbaudran, Piès, Jules Noël, and Gaucherel. He made his debut at the Salon of 1875. As a painter, Félix Buhot developed a deliberately sketchy, impressionistic style. Buhot devoted a large part of his energy to etching, which he learned from Adolphe Lalauze. Buhot's etchings were in some ways more painterly than his paintings; he even referred to them as "paintings on copper". Between 1874 and 1891 he produced 179 etchings, often combining on the same plate the techniques of etching, aquatint, vernis mou, drypoint, and roulette, in order to achieve the powerful contrasts of light and dark for which he was renowned. Buhot's early prints are sometimes signed with his name in reverse, Tohub; he usually signed with the initials FB (also sometimes reversed) and/or with a stylized owl ("búho" signifies both an owl and an unsociable person in Spanish). Among Buhot's extensive prints are some notable etchings illustating the work of his fellow-Norman, Barbey d'Aurevilly. He also wrote on art under the pen-name Pointe sèche. With his friend Henri Guérard, Buhot was an important figure in Japonisme. Félix Buhot achieved great success in the United States, where he had his first solo show in 1888, with the New York print dealer Frederick Keppel. Large collections of Buhot's prints were made by the collectors Samuel P. Avery, George A. Lucas, and Albert H. Wiggin, and these are now in the New York Public Library, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Boston Public Library. There is also a substantial collection of Buhot prints in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, which held an exhibition The Prints of Félix Buhot: Impressions of City and Sea in 2005. Despite his success in France, England, and America, Buhot, who had been orphaned at the age of 7, suffered badly from depression. By 1892 he had stopped making prints, and six years later he died at the age of 51. See: Félix Buhot, catalogue descriptif de son oeuvre gravé, par G. Bourcard, with additions and revisions by James Goodfriend, 1979; Félix Buhot, peintre graveur: Prints, drawings and paintings, Baltimore Museum of Art, 1983.

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Selected prints by FELIX BUHOT

Les gardiens du
logis, 1902 printing
Sous l'averse, 1902 printing

View all available prints by FELIX BUHOT